Tangy Vegan Kimchi Stew Recipe – Vibrant Flavors That Amaze Your Palate!

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Vegan Kimchi Stew Recipe is a vibrant and tangy dish that marries the bold flavors of fermented kimchi with the delicate sweetness of vegetables. This hearty concoction, simmered to perfection, offers a spicy, sour, and umami experience. Rich in nutrients and aroma, it’s a comforting, warming meal, ideal for those seeking a flavorful, plant-based option.


  • Incorporates a variety of vegetables, boosting nutritional value and flavor depth.
  • The use of tofu provides a creamy, protein-rich base without dairy.
  • Spices and seasonings are adjustable to personal taste, making it a versatile dish.
  • Quick and easy to prepare, it’s one of the best options for a hearty, healthy meal.

Don’t have time to read the full blog post? JUMP TO THE RECIPE HERE!

Finding the perfect balance between flavor and health can often feel like a culinary challenge, especially when transitioning to a plant-based diet. Remember when the savory comfort of a hearty stew seemed a distant memory?

This is where the magic of Vegan Kimchi Stew steps into the scene. From my journey, the discovery of this recipe marked a turning point, merging the robust, tangy flavors I craved with the vegan principles I’d embraced.

vegan kimchi stew recipe

This dish revitalizes the palate with its spicy, sour depths and brings warmth and nutrition to any table. Consider this your culinary lifeline, transforming simple ingredients into a sensory feast.

What Is Vegan Kimchi Stew?

Vegan Kimchi Stew is a plant-based adaptation of a traditional Korean dish known for its rich flavors and health benefits. It replaces traditional fish sauce and meat with vegan alternatives, maintaining the classic dish’s depth without animal products.

This stew combines fermented vegan kimchi with various vegetables and tofu, offering a spicy, sour, and savory experience. It’s a comforting meal, perfect for those seeking warmth and a boost of probiotics.

Rich in nutrients and bursting with flavor, it’s a great option for anyone looking to enjoy a hearty, health-conscious meal.

Fact: Did you know that traditional kimchi is rich in probiotics due to fermentation? This makes it excellent for digestive health, even in its vegan form.

vegan kimchi stew

Recipe Directions

  • Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a kettle or pot. Remove from heat, add dried shiitake mushrooms, and let sit for 15 minutes to rehydrate.
  • After rehydration, squeeze excess water from the mushrooms. Cut off and discard hard stems, then slice the mushrooms. Keep the mushroom water; this will be your mushroom stock.
  • Heat a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add oil and onion, sautéing until the onion softens.
  • Add the kimchi to the pot and sauté for about 5 minutes or until it softens.
  • Carefully pour in the mushroom stock, avoiding any grit. Add the remaining ½ cup of water, kimchi juice, soy sauce, chili paste, and chili flakes. Stir well.
  • Taste the broth. If it’s too sour, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar to balance the flavors.
  • Add sliced shiitake mushrooms to the pot. Place tofu slices in the stew, submerging them in the liquid.
  • Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Let it simmer gently for 5 minutes or until the tofu is heated.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the sesame oil.
  • Serve the stew in two bowls, ensuring each has three tofu slices. Garnish with green onions, radishes, and sesame seeds.
  • Serve hot with a side of rice for a complete meal.

Recipe Directions

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings


  • Miso Paste: Add a tablespoon of miso paste to enhance the umami. Before adding it, dissolve it in a little broth to avoid clumps.
  • Different Vegetables: Incorporate bell peppers, zucchini, or spinach for added color and nutrition.
  • Seaweed: Stir in strips of dried seaweed, like wakame or kelp, a few minutes before the stew is done for a salty, oceanic flavor.


  • Grains: Serve with different grains such as quinoa, barley, or brown rice for a hearty meal.
  • Noodles: Add udon, ramen, or soba noodles into the stew for a filling, comforting dish.
  • Legumes: Chickpeas, lentils, or black beans can be added for extra protein and texture.
  • Mushroom Varieties: Experiment with different types of mushrooms, such as portobello, oyster, or enoki, for varied flavors and textures.

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings


  • Green Onions: A classic topping, finely sliced green onions add a fresh, crisp finish.
  • Sesame Seeds: Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over the top for a nutty flavor and a bit of crunch.
  • Fresh Herbs: Chopped cilantro, parsley, or basil can add a fresh, aromatic touch.
  • Avocado Slices: Top with avocado slices for a creamy texture and healthy fats.
  • Lime Wedges: Serve with lime wedges on the side; a squeeze of lime juice can brighten the flavors.
Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings

Vegetable Substitutions

  • Zucchini or Eggplant: Great for replacing meat in dishes like lasagna or ratatouille due to their hearty texture.
  • Mushrooms: Portobello, shiitake, or button mushrooms can mimic the umami and texture of meat, which is ideal for stews and burgers.
  • Cauliflower: Can substitute for chicken in recipes like buffalo wings or as a base for pizza crusts.
  • Jackfruit: Its fibrous texture makes it a perfect stand-in for pulled pork or chicken.
  • Lentils: Great for replacing ground meat in tacos, bolognese, or meatloaf.
  • Butternut Squash: A sweet, dense alternative for dishes requiring a meaty component.
  • Beans and Chickpeas: Offer a hearty, protein-rich substitute for meats in curries, salads, and soups.
  • Tofu and Tempeh: Can replace meat in almost any dish, absorbing flavors well.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Their versatility and sweetness make them suitable for various dishes, from fries to stews.
  • Seitan: Made from wheat gluten, it’s an excellent meat-like substitute, particularly in slices or chunks.

Quick Tip: When cooking with tofu, press it for at least 20 minutes to remove excess water. This ensures a firmer texture and better flavor absorption.

Vegetable Substitutions

Best Side Dishes

  1. Steamed Rice A staple that balances the stew’s strong flavors.
  2. Noodles Soba or udon noodles can add substance to the meal.
  3. Steamed Greens Bok choy, spinach, or kale provide a fresh contrast.
  4. Pickled Vegetables Additional pickles like radish or cucumber add crunch and tang.
  5. Seaweed Salad Brings a refreshing, oceanic flavor to the table.
  6. Kimchi Pancakes Crispy and flavorful, they enhance the kimchi theme.
  7. Tofu Salad A light, protein-rich complement.
  8. Cucumber Salad A cool, crisp counterpoint to the stew’s warmth.
  9. Miso Soup A gentle, soothing start to the meal.
  10. Rice Paper Rolls Filled with vegetables, they’re light and healthy.

Best Side Dishes

How To Serve?

  • Reheat: Ensure the stew is heated thoroughly before serving.
  • Bowl Selection: Use deep bowls to accommodate the broth and ingredients comfortably.
  • Rice Accompaniment: Serve alongside a bowl of steamed white or brown rice.
  • Garnishes: To add flavor and color, top the stew with sliced green onions, sesame seeds, and fresh cilantro.
  • Side Dishes: Offer side dishes like kimchi pancakes, steamed vegetables, or a fresh salad.
  • Condiments: Provide soy sauce, extra chili paste, and sesame oil on the table for personal seasoning.
  • Utensils: Supply spoons for the broth and chopsticks for the solid ingredients.
  • Portion Control: Serve moderate portions; the stew is rich and filling.
  • Serving Sequence: Present the stew as the main course after light appetizers or alongside side dishes.
  • Presentation: Ensure the presentation is appealing, with the tofu and vegetables visible on top.

Quick Tip: For enhanced flavor in soups and stews, sauté your spices and aromatics like garlic, onion, and ginger before adding liquids. This deepens the overall taste.

How To Serve

Storage & Make Ahead

  • Cooling: Let the stew cool completely before storing it to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Refrigeration: Store in airtight containers; it keeps well for up to 5 days.
  • Freezing: Vegan Kimchi Stew freezes well. Portion and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Reheating: Gently reheat on the stove or microwave until piping hot. Avoid boiling to preserve flavors.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare the stew base and add fresh tofu and green onions when reheating to maintain texture and freshness.
  • Containers: Clear containers easily identify the contents and data stored.

Fact: Did you know that kimchi, a staple in Korean cuisine, dates back to the 7th century? Its unique fermentation process enhances its distinctive flavor and increases its health benefits.

Storage & Make Ahead

Time-Saving Tips

  1. Prep Vegetables in Advance: Chop all your vegetables and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to cook.
  2. Use Pre-Made Vegan Kimchi: You can save time by purchasing high-quality, store-bought vegan kimchi instead of making it from scratch.
  3. Batch Cooking: Make a large batch of the stew and freeze in portions for quick, easy meals later.
  4. Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker: An Instant Pot reduces cooking time significantly while infusing deep flavors.
  5. Pre-Cut Tofu: Buy pre-cut tofu to skip the draining and cutting steps.
  6. Minimize Cleanup: Cook ingredients in stages using the same pot to reduce the number of dishes to wash.
  7. Measure Spices Ahead: Pre-measure your spices and seasonings into a small bowl to be ready when needed.
Tangy Vegan Kimchi Stew Recipe - Vibrant Flavors That Amaze Your Palate!

Tangy Vegan Kimchi Stew Recipe – Vibrant Flavors That Amaze Your Palate!

Recipe by Julia

Vegan Kimchi Stew is a spicy, flavorful dish that combines the rich tastes of fermented kimchi with fresh vegetables and tofu. It’s a comforting, warming stew perfect for colder days or when in need of a nutritious boost. This stew is easy to make and packed with health benefits, offering a satisfying vegan meal option.

Course: Main Meal
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Ingredients List

  • 6 Pieces 6 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms

  • 2 ½ Cup 2 ½ Water (590 ml)

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Oil

  • 1 1 Small Onion, Thinly Sliced

  • 1 Tightly Packed Cup 1 Vegan Kimchi (about 200 grams)

  • ¼ Cup ¼ Kimchi Juice (60 ml)

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Soy Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Korean Chili Paste (Gochujang)

  • 2 Tsp 2 Korean Chili Flakes (Gochugaru)

  • 2 Tsp 2 Sugar (Optional)

  • Half a package Half a package Firm or Extra-Firm Tofu

  • 1 Tsp 1 Sesame Oil

  • 2 2 Green Onions, Sliced

  • 2 2 Radishes, Cut into Matchsticks (Optional)

  • A sprinkling A sprinkling Sesame Seeds (Optional)

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Water Boil: In a kettle or pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat.
  • Mushrooms: Add dried shiitake mushrooms to the hot water. Let them sit for 15 minutes to rehydrate.Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings
  • Prepare Mushrooms: After rehydration, squeeze the mushrooms to remove excess water. Discard the hard stems and slice the mushrooms. Keep the mushroom-infused water as stock.
  • Sauté Onions: Add oil and onion in a medium pot on medium-high heat. Sauté until the onion softens.Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings
  • Cook Kimchi: Add the kimchi to the pot. Continue to sauté for about 5 minutes or until it softens.
    vegan kimchi stew recipe
  • Add Liquids: Pour the mushroom stock into the pot, avoiding any settled grit. Add the remaining ½ cup of water, kimchi juice, soy sauce, chili paste, and chili flakes. Stir well.
    vegan kimchi stew recipe
  • Adjust Taste: If the broth is too sour, balance the flavor by adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar.
  • Add Mushrooms and Tofu: Slice the shiitake mushrooms and add them to the pot. Then, gently place the tofu slices in the stew, making sure they are submerged.
    vegan kimchi stew recipe
  • Simmer: Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes or until the tofu is thoroughly heated.
    vegan kimchi stew recipe
  • Final Touch: Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the sesame oil for added flavor.
  • Serving: Divide the stew into two bowls, ensuring each has three tofu slices. Garnish with sliced green onions, radishes, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
  • Complete the Meal: Serve the stew hot, accompanied by steamed rice.How To Serve
  • Equipment List
  • Cutting Board
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Medium Pot
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Bowls (for serving)
  • Tofu Press (optional)
  • Ladle
  • Stove


  • Use gluten-free soy sauce to keep the dish gluten-free.

  • Adjust the amount of chili paste and flakes according to your spice preference.

  • Ensure the kimchi is vegan, as some brands include fish sauce.

  • Tofu can be pressed for a firmer texture if desired.

  • The stew can be made ahead of and refrigerated well.
  • Serve with additional garnishes like nori strips or toasted seaweed for extra flavor.

  • The stew’s flavor deepens the next day, making it great for leftovers.

vegan kimchi stew recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Store-Bought Kimchi For This Vegan Kimchi Stew?

Yes, you can use store-bought kimchi for Vegan Kimchi stews, but make sure it’s vegan, as traditional kimchi may contain fish sauce or shrimp paste. Check the label for ingredients to ensure they align with vegan standards.

Using store-bought kimchi saves time and offers convenience without compromising the dish’s authentic flavors.

Is It Necessary To Press The Tofu Before Adding It To The Stew?

Pressing tofu is not strictly necessary for this stew, but it is recommended if you prefer a firmer texture. Pressing removes excess water, allowing the tofu to absorb the stew’s flavors more effectively. You can skip this step if you’re short on time or prefer softer tofu.

vegan kimchi stew recipe

How Can I Adjust The Spice Level In This Stew?

The spice level in Vegan Kimchi Stew can be easily adjusted to suit your taste. To make it milder, reduce the amount of Korean chili paste (gochujang) and chili flakes (gochugaru). For a spicier stew, simply increase these ingredients. Start with a small amount and adjust gradually, tasting as you go.

Can I Make This Stew Ahead Of Time?

Yes, this stew is an excellent make-ahead dish. It refrigerates well and can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days. The flavors often deepen and meld together after a day or two, making it even more delicious. Gently reheat on the stove or in the microwave when ready to serve.

What Are Some Gluten-Free Options For This Recipe?

To make Vegan Kimchi Stew gluten-free, ensure your kimchi is gluten-free and use tamari or a certified gluten-free soy sauce instead of regular soy sauce.

Also, check that any store-bought ingredients, like Korean chili paste, do not contain gluten. With these simple substitutions, you can easily make this dish suitable for a gluten-free diet.

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Greetings from the heart of Vie De La Vegan, where each dish we share is a chapter in a larger story of discovery, wellness, and the transformative power of a plant-based diet. My name is Julia, and I am thrilled to be your guide on this delightful culinary adventure.

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